“The Matter!” replied Sir Henry “You are aware, perhaps that that part of the country where I live literally swarms with venomous serpants: there are black snakes, brown snakes, grey snakes, diamond snakes, carpet snakes- in short, every species of snake in the known world. Now, so long as they confined themselves to the lawn and the garden, I did not so much mind. Its was bad enough to have them there, but, with caution, I could avoid them. The brutes, however, have lately taken to invade the house. We have killed them in the verandah, and in every room, including the kitchen. Now, it was in consequence of this, that I addressed my prayers to Saint Patrick; and suggested that he might whisper to them to go into other people’s houses and not mine, in order to gratify their curiosity concerning the habits of civilized man: but to no purpose. Last night I found a gentleman, six feet long, and as black as coal, coiled up on my white counterpane; and another of the same dimensions underneath the bed. However, I am determined they shall not banish me from that abode but I will banish them………………….
John Lang, ‘A Special Convict’, Household Words, Volume XIX, Magazine No 474, 23, April, 1859